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Everything posted by paulraphael

  1. Not sure, but I think it's on Amazon prime and Apple tv.
  2. I just found out about it last week and watched. One of the more interesting (and least romanticized) looks at restaurant cooking I've seen on screen. Wiki
  3. That's a great pan. If I were still thinking about buying copper pans something like that would be top of the list. If I lost all my current copper pans in a house fire, the two I'd probably buy again are the 1.5L slope-sided saucepan (just love this) and the 12" long-handled frying pan. Both of these make great use of copper's strengths and I love using them. Interesting's, I've found that the higher the quality of the range that I'm cooking on, the less important the pan. Copper does a great job of distributing heat evenly (unimportant if your burner heats evenly), storing heat (unimportant if you got a lot of BTUs), and responding to temperature changes (as does a thinner, lighter pan, which you can get away with on an hot, even burner). My new range is hot, but not very even, so the copper still helps me out. If I ever get the range of my dreams, the copper will be more about nostalgia. And if I get an induction range, the copper will be on ebay!
  4. Those may well be Mauviel. Theyy often let cookware stores sell under the store brand. A few of my Mauviel pans are stamped "Zabar's" after the NYC store where I got them. Only one pan that I got years later has the actual maker's name on it.
  5. I wouldn't bother. The copper cookware that works well is ~2.5mm thick. The thin stuff is considered "tourist copper." It looks nice. It's often used at restaurants for bringing sauces to the table. But it's not restaurant cookware. I'd think twice about buying any heavy copper cookware today. Cooking on fire is in its twilight period. The day is coming when serious cooks will have to use induction, unless they're in an old building that's getting grandfathered in to gas use. If you're sold on copper, consider getting just the pieces where it will make the most difference, like a medium-sized saucepan that you can use for things that need the most precise heat control. As far as handles ... I disagree with the bronze handle recommendation. Cast iron will conduct heat more slowly, and is more badass. Also don't just look at Mauviel. Consider Falk. They actually make the laminated material used by Mauviel and Bourgeat, so the equivalent pieces are usually a bit cheaper. Bourgeat for some reason is a bit more expensive. Edited: I wrote "...think twice about buying any heavy cookware ..." Meant to write "heavy copper cookware."
  6. I'd experiment in small quantities. The solubility of stuff will be way different in fat than in water. You might get flavors you didn't bargain for. I had to do many experiments just to figure out how to get good flavors infusing coffee into dairy ... about 12% fat content.
  7. We'll need a separate thread on the best mic for popcorn vs. fried chicken. But really, I'm thinking this sounds like the making of a postmodern percussion performance. You could be youtube star.
  8. With a domed wok lid? I'd like an audio recording of that.
  9. I wonder if it's one of those things that some people are extra sensitive to and others aren't.
  10. Yeah, that was it. I simplified it a bit over the next few years. Then got a PC in 2014 or so. One thing ... I just use celery now, not celery root. I remember the chef who first clued me into the technique said his executive chef had banished celery from the kitchen, because it added an unacceptable bitterness to everything. They used celeriac instead. I went along with this for a minute, but then did some taste tests and couldn't find anything wrong with plain old celery. Since then I've switched to a 10:1 mix of arrowroot and xanthan.
  11. That's what I think is so cool about some of the new methods! They replicate pre-classical, extravagant ideas (but without cooking for a whole week and slaughtering whole pastures full of veal calves).
  12. Similar idea. The coulis from pre-revolutionary France is just taken to exorbitant extremes. Whole joints of meat are discarded in the name of making a final sauce for a banquette. It puts things in perspective ... how Classical cuisine (especially idea of the mother sauces and demi-glace) is really a kind of fast-food simulation of the old ways, designed to make a-la-carte dining possible at bourgeois restaurants.
  13. I don't mean to brag or anything, but Maguy once rescued me when I was lost in the basement of the Le Bernardin building.
  14. I have a Fagor—10 or 12 quart? Dave Arnold did a bunch of blind taste tests with many subjects and found that the Kuhn Rikon PCs made the best tasting stocks. Surprising that there's a difference, but evidently the cookers work differently. The KRs let you maintain temperature without venting any steam. So I'd go for that one. I think I passed on KR because they were out of my price range at the time. For a cheaper option I've been happy with the Fagor. That hybrid coulis process came from a Canadian chef on eGullet some years ago. I can't remember who unfortunately. I described the process to another chef once and he laughed at me. "No one's got time for that in a commercial kitchen!" But someone did! What I got from Peterson was the general idea of meat coulis—that demi-glace is actually a post French Revolution shortcut. What they did back when they cooked for kings is poach a piece of meat in stock, save the poaching liquid (give the meat to the servants and dogs), use the liquid to poach another piece of meat, save the poaching liquid again (more meat for servants and dogs) ... repeat a total of 4 or so times. The final liquid would be a gloriously intense meat coulis that would serve as the sauce base for the final roast. No reduction or thickeners needed. It was a good time to be dog (if you were the right person's dog). I get similar results now with little or no reduction. Unfortunately at the end of pressure cooking, the meat is really quite spent. I my cats did not usually want it.
  15. paulraphael

    Brining Chicken

    Brining scallops doesn't do what you think it does. At least If you do it the right way. It can be a little helpful for good quality dry-packed scallops, but makes a much bigger improvement on wet-packed and most frozen scallops. It simply firms the flesh a bit and makes them easier to cook well. It doesn't inject them with lots of moisture like typical poultry brining. You go for a much more subtle effect. I brine salmon before cooking sous-vide. If sauteeing I don't bother. Like with scallops, it's a subtle brine done for a specific purpose, with the brine concentration calibrated to the brining time. My point with the seafood brine is that it can be useful, whereas I've completely given up on brining land creatures.
  16. paulraphael

    Brining Chicken

    Agree 100%. I experimented with brining chicken and pork back when it was all the rage, and just didn't like it. It does make the meat ... wetter. But this isn't the same as juicier. The brine does not add juiciness that tastes the way I want juices to taste. The processes that make meats taste better tend to involve removing moisture, not adding it (dry aging, etc.). This concentrates flavors rather than diluting them. The secret to making things juicy is not overcooking them. If you brine long enough to start affecting protein structures, textures can get weird. The one thing I still brine is seafood. Especially scallops, or fish that will be cooked sous-vide. I use a formula that firms the texture of the flesh a bit, and helps keep it from oozing albumin. But chicken? I like it with kosher salt sprinkled on the outside. If it's a special bird, I'll do it the night before and let it sit loosely covered in the fridge.
  17. paulraphael

    Brining Chicken

    Even many of the things that do dissolve in water won't pass through the cell membrane. I think it was Hervé This who demonstrated this. Any molecule much bigger than table salt is staying on the outside. I forget if sugar was even able to penetrate. This doesn't mean that won't flavor the meat from the outside ... it's just not magically infusing into the cells.
  18. Mitch, no one's going to take your stock pot away. I haven't even given mine away. I still use it for lots of stuff ... just not so much for stock. Sounds like your reason for doing it the old fashioned way is you like it. No other reason needed. But it's not a general argument against a pressure cooker. You're right that the time savings aren't huge for chicken stock. When I did it conventionally, I simmered for 3–4 hours. In the pressure cooker I go 2.5 hours (plus waiting for it depressurize). It's a bit quicker, but the bigger advantages are 1) no skimming (called into question by this thread) and 2) tastes better (to me, anyhow). It also uses way less energy. The real revelation for me, though, isn't chicken stock. It's any kind of meat glace / coulis. What I'd use as a substitute for traditinoal demi-glace. A project like this used to take nearly 2 full days in the kitchen. Now it takes about 30 minutes of work plus 2.5 hours waiting for the pressure cooker to do its thing on day 1. And less than an hour of work on day 2 (which includes portioning into ziplocs for the freezer). It's so easy that I don't do anything generic like veal or a white chicken glace. I use a dish-appropriate meat for whatever meals I'm planning. The degree to which this is better than an Escoffier demi-glace has to be tasted to be appreciated. And you don't give up a whole weekend for it.
  19. Happy anniversary! To state the obvious, you can make a world-class stock the old fashioned way. I don't think any of those books mentions the pressure cooker method because no one was talking about it before 2009 or so. Dave Arnold and Nils Noren had been experimenting with it for years (including lots of blind taste tests) but that's the first I saw them write about it. The Modernist Cuisine crew duplicated their research with the same results, and published in 2011. The pressure cooker, all else being equal, gives more vibrant, 3-d flavors than you get from an open pot. I don't find the difference dramatic, but I appreciate it. And it works in a fraction of the time, and requires no skimming. What's not to love? I don't use the PC for vegetable or fish stock. It's too hot. For those things I get best flavor from sous-vide! Sorry, stock pot. We had good times back in the day.
  20. Before I got into the pressure cooker methods, I learned a modern technique from someone on eGullet ... I can't remember who, but I think he worked under a well-known chef in Canada. I used variations on his method for years, and got results that are roughly as good as the PC. It's just very time consuming ... maybe even more so than the classical methods, so it shouldn't clash too hard with your romantic sensibilities 😁 It's more about meat glace / coulis than stock. But no reason you couldn't adapt it for stock with different ratios. The idea is that you split up the meat and mirepoix into multiple batches. I used 3 batches of meat and 2 mirepoix. You brown the first batches and then add water (or stock) and simmer it down. Then you add a successive batch and more liquid, and simmer it down. And so on. It's a similar principle to the old method of reduction where your first addition of liquid gets reduced like crazy, the next addition gets reduced less, and the final addition gets reduced hardly at all ... you get a balance of volatile flavors and concentrated non-volatile ones. Although here you're dealing with extraction at the same time. I can dig up my exact method if you're interested, but the important thing is the general idea. You're making more efficient use of that meat so you don't need to waste so much. One Modernist Cuisine inovation that would make sense here: use ground or finely chopped meat unstead of big chunks. It exponentially speeds extraction.
  21. I've made versions of this soup and have found some complex / odd flavors in it. I liked it, but my girlfriend thought it tasted like a tire fire. I did not judiciously core the carrots, as I believe the MC crew recommends (but the times I did core them, the flavor wasn't all that different). If you're getting this kind of complexity, wine pairing would be harder. I think something acidic and cutting like while Paul O' recommends might work better than something sweet.
  22. I do too, but those smells are a symptom of a problem. I'd rather keep them captive.
  23. What, huh, who? I've missed the idea that salt can aid extraction of anything in a stock. I'd like explore it (or see if it's explored elsewhere). I don't recall seeing anything about this in Modernist Cuisine or in the old James Peterson Sauces book (a gem). As far as skimming, those days are long over for me. Ever since Dave Arnold and Nils Noren posted their pressure cooker experiments (and Mhyrvold & Co continued the thread) I've been all PC all the time for chicken and meat-based stocks. My reduction days are mostly over too. When I want to make a glace or coulis, I start with proportions pretty close to what I'm hoping to end with. Why lose all those aromatics? The Carême and Escoffier methods seem very dated now. They're about throwing in a whole barnyard full of meat in in the beginning, knowing that most of the flavor will go out the window. You can do better even without a pressure cooker.
  24. 2 stacked sheet pans work great. I have some insulated sheets, but the stacked pans work equally well. I mostly just use the insulated sheets as baking peels ... they're pretty rigid and don't have rims, so things slide off of them easily.
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